Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University

Advisor

Wang, Guiming

Committee Member

Taylor, Jimmy D.

Committee Member

Dibble, Eric D.

Committee Member

Strickland, Bronson K.

Date of Degree

1-1-2016

Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access

Major

Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture

Degree Name

Master of Science

College

College of Forest Resources

Abstract

The Hutchinsonian niche is the n dimensional hyper volume that allows for the persistence of a species. Castor canadensis, a large semi-aquatic rodent, is an ecosystem engineer and often a keystone species for many ecosystems. I examined the effect of multiple spatial scales on hierarchical habitat selection byC. canadensis using presence-only modeling techniques. I also determined individual trophic niche specialization in C. canadensis utilizing stable isotope analysis. I concluded that C. canadensis displayed scale independent habitat selection when comparing landscape and fine spatial scales. Individual trophic niche specialization occurred in colonies of the same resource availability. Also, individual trophic niches varied substantially between wetlands. These results have implications for the management of “generalist” species because populations can be composed of specialized individuals. Studies of niche across spatial and organizational scales are required for successful conservation and management strategies.

URI

https://hdl.handle.net/11668/18615

Comments

hierarchical habitat selection||indiviudal trophic niche variation||Castor canadensis

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